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Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Toasted Walnuts and Tarragon


Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Toasted Walnuts and Tarragon
Jen Hoy
Use either black, red or white quinoa (or a combination of the 3) in this gluten-free recipe for quinoa and roasted squash, toasted walnuts and tarragon. Quinoa is an ancient, protein and vitamin rich staple food. While strictly speaking it is a seed, quinoa is eaten as a grain and is perfect for people who are watching their grain intake. It has an exceptional amino acid profile and along with amaranth possesses the highest protein content of all grains. It’s a great way to use leftover roasted squash or roasted veggies. This dish is equally good warm, room temperature or even chilled, but I like it best the day it’s made, when the nuts are still crisp. If you are sensitive to nuts, the dish is just as good without them. See notes below for variations.


  • 1 cup red or white quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • 1 shallot, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped roasted butternut or other winter squash
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Combine quinoa, water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes. Let the quinoa stand for 10 minutes to fluff, then turn it out into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.

While the quinoa is resting, heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium flame. Add the chopped walnuts and cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes, until nuts are crisp.

Add the chopped shallots and cook the mixture for 1 minute, until the shallots are translucent.

Add the tarragon and parsley, and stir one minute. Add the nut and herb mixture to the quinoa, along with the squash, celery and lemon juice. Season to taste. Stir well and serve.

Variations:Add ¼ cup currants and 1 apple, cored and chopped into small pieces, in addition to the other ingredients.
Use any leftover roasted vegetable instead of the squash, and proceed with recipe.
Use toasted almonds instead of the walnuts, or omit the nuts altogether.

Serves 4

Copyright 2012 by Jen Hoy

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